The Jose Mourinho era at Manchester United in the Premier League kicked off to a perfect start. The Reds put behind a forgettable first-half performance to comfortably beat Bournemouth 1-3 thanks to a goal from Juan Mata in the first half and then in the second, a goal for captain Wayne Rooney before spectacular debut strike from Zlatan Ibrahimovic sealed the deal. Adam Smith's strike was merely a consolation for the Cherries. Let's take a look at what United have learnt from this game.
Bailly is Premier League material
Eric Bailly deservedly took the Man of the Match acclaim, he was superb during the entire game, used his pace and strength well to nullify any threats posed by Bournemouth, he looks at home in England and looks like he might give Chris Smalling a battle to return to the starting eleven. His partnership and seamless transition with Daley Blind has been impressive to watch, the Dutchman makes it easy for his partner to settle, he's an assured presence for the Ivorian.
Fellaini makes his case
Most people would have been surprised by Marouane Fellaini's inclusion in the team and would've also been critical of Jose to pick him, but the big Belgian proved his doubters wrong by putting in a very good shift in midfield and all over the pitch, he showed a desire to win the ball back, he tracked the Bournemouth attackers well and also won aerial battles for United during the course of the game. His work rate was commendable too and, all in all, it was a good performance by Fellaini and a worthy nomination for man of the match for sure.
Mata deserves to start
Mata started his first league game for United under Jose and did very well indeed. Although he was initially starting on the right-hand side, most of his work was through the middle or in and around the midfield. Mata and Rooney were in free roles, Antonio Valencia was given the entire right-hand side to explore and he did exceptionally well too, with his work rate and pace helping him give a good account of himself. Mata opened the goals account for United in Jose's first game, taking advantage of a dreadful backpass from captain Tyler Francis and the Spaniard's determination and work-rate rewarded him with a gift of a goal, poor handling by veteran Artutr Boruc.
Goals for the new partnership
Both Zlatan and Wayne Rooney managed to get themselves on the scoresheet. Rooney was guilty of some awful ball control and giving the ball away but in the second half, we saw a better performance from him, his good positioning helped him put Anthony Martial's effort into the net. The more attractive goal, however, came from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, a wonderful debut strike as "Zlatan Time" begins in the Premier League.